You will find a lot of fantastic hikes across the Hawaiian islands. Many of which are easy, taking hikers along paved or similarly established routes through the rainforest and along coastlines. However, sometimes, you want to go further than a mile or so, and want to undertake a more challenging route. Especially if there is great beauty at the end. For those times, one fantastic hike you should consider is the hike to Kauai’s Weeping Wall.
The Weeping Wall is a gorgeous collection of waterfalls that all cascade along an extended cliffside stretch. This series of waterfalls and cliffs are a part of Mount Waialeale, which is situated near the heart of Kauai and is known for being one of the wettest spots on earth. It also happens to be one of the most remote spots on the island of Kauai, and as such, most people who catch sight of the Weeping Wall do so by helicopter tour. But there is another way to go.
Taking the Waialeale Blue Hole Hike to Kauai’s Weeping Wall
The place where all of the waterfalls crashing down as the Weeping Wall from Mount Waialeale is also known as Blue Hole to the locals, and hence the Blue Hole hike will take you to one of the best places to see those waterfalls from the ground. However, this is not an easy hike. It is not a hike that should be taken by anyone except those who have experienced hiking at extreme elevations and have a strong awareness of Hawaii’s environment and weather shifts.
Before we go too much further into the hike itself, we want to stress the dangers involved:
First and foremost, the rain can come hard and fast here. Remember, this is among the wettest places in the world! Heavy rainfall can and does frequently lead to flash flooding as all those waters crash over cliffs and down slopes. Getting caught in these flash floods can be disorienting and may lead to injuries — potentially fatal injuries. Every year, hundreds of people get stranded and require rescue within the Waialeale Basin.
Second, the trail to the Weeping Wall is not well-marked. This is not your typical state or national park trail. Rather, it is a lightly trafficked dirt and rock trail that leads through some serious underbrush. It is easy to get turned around if you are not paying attention. Add to this, the terrain is challenging, and you should bring hiking poles if you have them.
Now, onto the hiking trail! The Waialeale Blue Hole Hike consists of a 4.9-mile out-and-back trail. To get to the trailhead, you will head towards the Keauhua Arboretum which is down at the end of Kuamoo Road. There is a parking lot here where you can leave your vehicle, and you will find the trailhead for this hike just past the arboretum.
While the trail itself is just under five miles, those are not five easy miles. The total elevation gain on this route is 1,502 feet — which equates to a lot of climbing. You will find yourself crouching to squeeze beneath limbs, climbing over boulders and overgrown roots, and sloshing through thick mud. Some experienced hikers may be able to complete the entirety of this hike in a half-day, but some may find themselves spending the entirety of a day on this trail. Pack and plan accordingly to your skill level.
If you’re feeling exhausted just reading about this hike, then don’t forget the other great way of visiting the Weeping Wall… By helicopter! Every helicopter tour company on Kauai offers at least one waterfall-oriented tour that includes a flight plan going through the Waialeale Valley where passengers can enjoy gorgeous views of the Weeping Wall. You can also hire a private hiking guide to lead you down this trail, and you will probably find the cost well worth the expense. Remember, the trail isn’t always clear, and some people stop and turn around too soon, not seeing where it leads out to a clear and beautiful opening of the waterfalls.